Boiling Water During A Power Outage – Upgraded Home

You quickly learn exactly how much modern humans rely on electricity as soon as the power goes out. The home becomes dark, the internet stops working, and suddenly opening the fridge puts all of your perishable food at risk. Even the simplest task, like boiling water, become seemingly impossible, but life must go on. So then, how do you boil water during a power outage?

During a power outage, you can still use a gas stove to boil water. If your stove is electric, you can use your outdoor grill, a wood-burning fireplace, or an outdoor firepit to boil water. You can also use a camp stove, butane fuel cartridges, or even a solar cooker or battery-operated hot plate. If you have a generator, then you can use it to power up your stove. 

While a power outage is a frustrating situation, there are still ways to live a relatively normal existence even when you are temporarily without electricity. If you want to boil water when there is no power, you are in luck. Not only is it possible to boil water during a power outage, but there are lots of ways to make this happen. Keep reading to learn about the top 10 ways to boil water when you lose power.

Will My Stove Still Work During A Power Outage?

It is obvious that your lights, refrigerator, microwave, and even your heat won’t work during a power outage, but what about your stove? If you have an electrical flattop or coil stove, then your stove won’t work. 

If, on the other hand, you have a gas stove, then you should still be able to use it when your electricity goes out. This is because, for the most part, gas stoves are not reliant on electricity. Just keep in mind that while the stove will still work, the igniter likely won’t. So you will need to use matches or a lighter to carefully light the burners.

Remember that if your power outage is the result of a major natural disaster, then there is a chance the natural gas lines have also been affected. I you rely on the municipality’s supply of natural gas, then keep that in mind.

Ten Ways To Boil Water During A Power Outage

1. Use Your Grill

You might not have a gas stove, but most people with backyards have a grill of some sort. If you have a grill, then you can cook food during a power outage, and you can also boil water. In fact, many grills have a hot plate or stovetop on one or both sides of the grill. This makes boiling water easy.

Even if your grill does not have a stovetop option, you can still boil water in a pot directly on top of the grill. Just make sure you don’t use your more valued pots, and use something that is metal throughout. If you use a pot with a plastic handle, it can suffer some damage. Keep in mind there will likely be black smoke and char marks underneath your pot afterward.

2. Utilize Your Camping Gear

If you or someone in your family is a camping enthusiast, then the odds are he or she has some sort of camping stove you can use. Camping stoves are a great investment, and you can purchase a simple single-burner stove for fairly cheap. Even if you aren’t a big camper, these are great little machines. They can come in handy during a power outage, or if you need to heat items and all your burners are in use.

3. Use Your Fireplace

Many homes have fireplaces, but very few fireplaces are used in the way they were hundreds of years ago. Fireplaces were once the epicenter of cooking in many households. So, if you have a power outage, consider channeling these historic times and boiling water over your fireplace. 

Every fireplace is different, and some are not designed for this task. This is particularly true for gas fireplaces that are narrow and enclosed by glass. But for those with wood-burning fireplaces, this is a very possible option.

4. Build A Fire Pit In Your Yard

If you don’t have a fireplace, or if your fireplace is not suitable for cooking, then consider building an outdoor firepit in your backyard in order to boil water during a power outage. Fire pits are an affordable alternative to fireplaces, and you can build one easily if you have an outdoor space.

Before lighting a fire in your fire pit, put some sort of grate on top of it, so it can become a stovetop. This will make it easier to place a pot or other cookware on the flame without risking a burn. 

5. Fire Up Your Generator

If you have a generator, then a power outage is exactly the moment this device has been waiting for. Generators are a savior during a power outage as they can help give power to your home. While not the cheapest as far as home devices are concerned, they are a worthy investment for some. 

For example, if you have one or two large walk-in freezers and live somewhere where power outages are possible, it is worth considering the investment. If you have a generator, you can easily boil water during a power outage, as you simply need to turn on the power to the circuit that your stove is connected to.

6. Use Butane Fuel Containers

Butane fuel containers are another very popular and simple way to heat and boil water during a power outage. Sterno is the most popular brand of butane container, and they are widely popular for keeping food warm at buffet lines, and also useful at heating up food when electricity is not an option.

Keep in mind that while butane cartridges work, it does not heat water nearly as fast as other methods. It takes a lot of energy to heat water, so if you have a large pot to boil, you may need several butane cartridges on the pot, and it might take more than 30 minutes in some cases – so plan accordingly. Butane works great at warming food but is not the best for preparing food that requires very hot sustained temperatures.

7. Add A Volcano Grill/Stove To Your Cooking Arsenal

Volcano soves are a versatile and useful cooking system. They use a variety of fuel types – sometimes alcohol, sometimes charcoal, and sometimes propane. They are vertical devices that often form a pyramid of sorts, hence the name volcano. You can place your pot or pan on top of the device, and it works similarly to a stove or grill. Best of all, many of these volcano devices are collapsible. This means you can store them easily with the rest of your emergency equipment if you want.

8. Invest In A Solar Cooker

Perhaps the most energy-efficient way to boil water during a power outage is to use a solar cooker. Solar cookers use the power of the sun to cook. As long as you have sunlight, you should have no problem boiling water during a power outage. 

Remember that boiling water does take some time and energy. If your power is out because of severe weather, then you might not have access to much sunlight. Keep this in mind when you are banking on using this device during a power outage caused by weather.

9. You Can Still Use Your Gas Stove

If you have a gas stove, then you can pretty much cook as if you aren’t experiencing a power outage. This is one of the great advantages of having a gas stove. Remember, because there is no electricity, the ignitor may not work. This means in order to light the burner, you will need to use a match or lighter. It also means you should be particularly careful not to allow any extra gas to leak out, and be extra careful when lighting the stove.

10. Battery-Powered Hot Plate

It is always a good idea to have some battery-operated devices ready when you live somewhere that experiences power outages. This means battery-operated lanterns and even battery-operated hot plates. That’s right, you can purchase a stovetop that runs on batteries. This is something to consider if you find yourself somewhere where power goes out frequently and you want a reliable backup.

Tips To Help Prepare For Cooking During A Power Outage

  • Stock Up On Non-Perishable Food Items: Try to find items that do not require refrigeration or much heating. Think of items that just need to be heated rather than boiled.
  • Top Off On Your Fuel: If you have a grill or other portable stove, make sure you have ample fuel to last a few days or a week. This will ensure you have a reliable method to boil water, even during an extended power outage.
  • Make Sure You Have Lighters Or Matches: Flames are just as important as fuel. Make sure you have a reliable lighter and/or matches.
  • Fill Up Large Containers With Drinking Water: If you have fresh drinking water, then you won’t need to boil water to make it safe. This will decrease your need to boil water during a power outage.

Final Thoughts On Boiling Water During A Power Outage 

If your power goes out, you might be worried that you can’t do simple tasks like boil water. Don’t worry, there are several ways for you to boil water during a power outage. In fact, if you have a gas stove, then your stove will still work; you just need to light it manually. You can use your grill, fireplace, or fire pit to boil water. You can use camping stoves, a solar cooker, or a volcano stove. There are butane containers that can heat water for you, and you can even purchase a battery-operated hot plate to boil water when the electricity is off.

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Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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